Published November 11, 2016
Levy is an accomplished neurosurgeon and endovascular surgeon, clinical investigator and educator who focuses on neurovascular disease states such as aneurysms and stroke.
As director of UB’s stroke research, he has led innovations including the international SWIFT PRIME trial, which showed use of a stent retriever in thrombectomies can improve patients’ long-term outcomes, a finding which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
He also holds a number of other roles — co-director of Kaleida Health Stroke Center and Cerebrovascular Surgery, director of endovascular stroke treatment and research and medical director of neuroendovascular services at Gates Vascular Institute (GVI). He also serves as a professor of radiology.
Levy, who has lectured nationally and internationally and published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, joined the department in 2004. He was named chair of neurosurgery in 2013.
Following his installation, Levy gave the lecture “Stroke: A Paradigm Shift from Rehabilitation to Intervention.”
During his talk, he noted that the evolving landscape of stroke treatment worldwide in the past decade has centered on pioneering work at UB that began when Hopkins, his mentor, asked the question “Can we treat strokes like cardiologists treat heart attacks?”
“At the time it sounded like a crazy idea, but it turned out to be the right idea,” Levy said, noting stent retrievers have revolutionized acute ischemic stroke treatment. The devices, used in conjunction with the clot-dissolving protein intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, are leading to dramatic decreases in disability from strokes.
In some cases, patients who arrive at GVI with a nearly fatal or disabling stroke have gone home the next morning, Levy said.
Hopkins, a native of Buffalo, served as professor and chair of neurosurgery from 1989 to 2013. He was named a SUNY Distinguished Professor in 2013.
An internationally recognized pioneer in endovascular neurosurgery, a subspecialty dedicated to minimally invasive treatment of vascular disease of the brain and spine, he founded UB’s Toshiba Stroke and Vascular Research Center, the GVI and the Jacobs Institute.